Yaiba: nin-ja Gaiden Z is an ugly game. Ugly in design, ugly in tone and ugly in content. It"s a garish smear of a game that dribbles all over the legacy of one of the all-time great action franchises.

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Series star Ryu Hayabusa is sidelined here in favour of Yaiba, a boorish clod who loses in battle lớn Ryu in the opening cut-scene, only to have his dismembered body toàn thân patched together again as a cyborg. What follows is a repetitive & utterly tiresome romp as Yaiba sets off khổng lồ get his revenge.

He does this by wading through wave after wave of zombies because those are the easiest foes lớn throw at a player, and because high-faluting notions such as AI can be conveniently brushed off the table. So Yaiba enters an area, makes some terrible foul-mouthed quip, & proceeds lớn carve up enemies with his three basic attacks - sword, fist & flail.

Anyone lured into this game by the nin-ja Gaiden brand will be in for a crushing disappointment. Forget any hopes for nuanced, balanced melee combat, any dreams of counter-and-parry tactics or indeed any sort of skill at all. Combat in Yaiba is a watery gruel of ideas lifted from better games, served up with as little panache as possible. Blocks are sloppy even before you take into tài khoản the vaguely telegraphed unblockable attacks that tougher enemies can unleash, & the timing required for consistent counter-attacks feels off. There"s no flow khổng lồ the fights, no grace lớn the movements, no logic to the way attacks chain together. It"s a button-masher, but it can"t even get that base màn chơi of game play right.

Normal zombies put up very little fight & exist mostly to lớn deliver health top-ups after being messily executed.

Charge into a gang of ordinary zombies & Yaiba slices through them as if they"re not there. The lack of impact is distracting, but nothing compared to the crudely balanced introduction of tougher enemies. There are heavy-hitting zombies, leaping clown zombies, electrified zombies & fire-breathing zombies. These can be whittled down with your combos, but fall much more easily when attacked using elemental powers taken from another enemy type.

You vày this by making an enemy vulnerable, which means landing a complete bộ combo on them. Do this and an exclamation mark appears for a split second, and tapping a button takes you to lớn an execution animation. For ordinary zombies this just plays out - & gets incredibly repetitive - but for special zombies you"ll have to lớn mash a button, because that"s how you know they"re special. Normal zombies give up health top-ups (the only way to lớn replenish your life in the game) while special zombies offer more health và an elemental attack that lasts for a short time.

Yaiba also builds up to lớn a sort of super-charged attack mode which is capable of demolishing enemies in a shower of gore, but this takes forever khổng lồ build up and is then spent all too quickly. Given that the game"s challenge largely comes from simply throwing increasingly numerous waves of enemies at you, in different combinations of zombie type, there"s never any right time to trigger this mode as you can guarantee that an equally random và annoying wave will be along right afterwards.

Defeat this guy and you"ll gain fire powers. For a few seconds.

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There"s the seed of a decent system here, but Yaiba"s shoddy construction makes for barren soil. Distinguishing between enemies in the middle of a scrum is difficult, while simply directing your attacks with any accuracy is a dice roll thanks khổng lồ the absence of any lock-on function & Yaiba"s tendency khổng lồ launch into lunging attacks that often send him skidding away from the enemy you were hoping to lớn hit.

The camera is a force unto itself, offering fixed angles on the action but constantly zooming out or zooming in. Sometimes it tries to keep every enemy on-screen, reducing Yaiba lớn an indistinct stick figure in a splurge of gaudy colour. At other times the camera zooms in close, usually when you"re near a "distracted zombie" which just stands there so you can grab it and use it as a throwing or flailing weapon. Either way, the trò chơi never manages to lớn find a happy medium where the camera isn"t an annoyance. Add in skittish animation & a lazy cel-shaded aesthetic that smears all the graphics into a kaleidoscopic soup, and it"s often a struggle just to lớn keep track of where Yaiba is.

It"s pretty much impossible for a game to survive such critical weakness in its vi xử lý core gameplay, & Yaiba"s only defences are a formulaic upgrade system that offers one new perk with each XP cấp độ attained, & a lethargic approach to collectables with shards that increase your health or resistance khổng lồ elemental attacks secreted in corners of the màn chơi you can"t see because of the terrible camera.

Also attempting to break the monotony of the combat are some half-hearted "puzzles" which mostly involve throwing zombies at or into objects (again, assuming the perpetually wayward camera actually shows you the thing you need to lớn throw them at) as well as some wretched one-button parkour sections as Yaiba swings và wall-runs khổng lồ his next mind-numbing encounter.

Yaiba: ninja Gaiden Z is a shoddy, sloppy mess in a genre loaded with shining examples of how to vày this sort of thing far better

Some of the trùm cuối battles offer memorably bizarre monsters, but defeating them is a chore.

It"s not lượt thích Yaiba himself does anything to lớn redeem this game. He"s a yammering, knuckle-dragging buffoon who makes Deadpool sound lượt thích Stephen Fry. You get the impression that he"s supposed to lớn be the sort of obnoxious grindhouse protagonist that Suda 51 specialises in, but the idiotic script can"t even match the genital-obsessed gonzo schlock of Shadows of the Damned. Instead, Yaiba"s leering at his improbably bosomed handler và his playground-level quips merely irritate. By the time the story tries khổng lồ redeem this wafer-thin caricature, you"ll be so infuriated by the gameplay and so sick of the lame gags that you"ll be long past caring what happens in the cut-scenes.

Yaiba: ninja Gaiden Z is a shoddy, sloppy mess in a genre loaded with shining examples of how to bởi this sort of thing far better and would be an embarrassment under any circumstances. That it comes bearing the title of one of the genre"s best really rubs salt in the wound. It"s hard khổng lồ imagine why Team nin-ja would put its name to this, and even harder lớn detect the creative fingerprints of Keiji "MegaMan" Inafune, who acted as producer. There"s certainly none of the precision you"d expect from someone with his pedigree.

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With humour too dumb to even be offensive và one-note gameplay blighted by clumsy design, it"s really only possible to lớn cede Yaiba a couple of plus points: wading into zombies with a katana is moderately amusing even in this shonky form, and some of the jokes might raise a smile if you"ve recently suffered a head injury. That aside, if the 2004 reboot of ninja Gaiden marks the series at its A-list best, then nin-ja Gaiden Z is at least appropriately titled.